The purpose of this paper is to build alternative indices weighing using a measure of fundamental value rather than debt size. The official bond indices built to reflect general price trends are market weighted, meaning that the bonds are weighted by their debt size. The more indebted, the more weight in the index, which mechanically increments the investment risks that are inherent. Those market indices are shown to be return-to-risk inefficient in recent studies compared to indices with alternative weighting schemes. The authors contribute to this growing literature, which mostly focuses on equities, by testing on bonds.
The authors build alternative indices weighing using a measure of fundamental value rather than debt size. The authors have done this for sovereign bonds using gross domestic product (GDP) figures and for corporates taking sales revenues.
The authors find in empirical tests that the fundamental indices build tend to outperform the market-weighted indices.
This article builds on two articles by Arnott et al. (2005, 2010), in the Financial Analysts Journal and Journal of Portfolio Management, respectively, and adds value in the sense that – it takes an appreciation-free fundamental measure, – tests on the European as opposed to the US bond markets.
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